Former President John Agyekum Kufour has been made Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa.
The ceremony organized today [Friday] was also used to rename the university after the late George Grant, the first President of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC).
The school is now called, the George Grant University of Mines and Technology.
The president in his speech said: “It is only fitting that this great modest man who can lay a legitimate claim of being the father of modern Ghanaian nationalist should be properly honoured by a grateful posterity by us who are heirs of the freedom he so violently fought for especially by the citizens of this great Western Region.”
“I appreciate the special moment this will be for me, a descendant of all the myriad of persons who assembled at Saltpond under his president , the lost United Gold Coast Convention UGCC on that fateful Saturday 4th August 1947 when the power of Ghanaian freedom and independence was nominated to be the president who will have the privilege to assent to this decision,” he noted.
On his part, Chairman of the University’s Council, Dr. Stephen S. Yirenkyi, appealed to President Akufo-Addo to allocate funds to the school for the completion of legacy projects, incompletion is impeding teaching and learning.
He added, “Today the University is seeing a new phase. The Chancellor has an enormous responsibility to make this University continue to stand tall and maintain its positions as the best public-funded University in Ghana. I am also optimistic that he will be given the needed support by the President and his government, Captains of the mining and the allied industries and rank and file of the university to make his work as the chancellor a pleasant one.”
Grant was born in 1878 in Beyin, Western Nzema, into an influential merchant family. He was the son of William Minneaux Grant and Madam Adjua (Dwowa) Biatwi of the Aboradze clan, and the grandson of Francis Chapman Grant, proprietor of the Gold Coast Times and treasurer of the Fanti Confederation.
Grant was educated at Wesleyan School in Cape Coast and through private tuition given by Joseph D. Abraham, a wealthy merchant friend of his father's. Grant was subsequently employed in the timber trade, first at Axim and then for five years in the Ivory Coast. In 1896, he established his own firm, George Grant and Company. He prospered as a timber merchant, with a flourishing export business, at a time when the trade was dominated by European companies.
In 1926 he was appointed to the Legislative Council, representing Sekondi. Grant was also a member of the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society and was instrumental in many development projects including introducing street lighting and pipe-borne water to Sekondi and Axim.